Cane syrup in infant feeding

Material Information

Cane syrup in infant feeding
Series Title:
Bulletin University of Florida. Agricultural Experiment Station
Townsend, Ruth O
Abbott, O. D ( Ouida Davis ), b. 1892
Ahmann, Chester F ( Chester Frederick ), b. 1897
Place of Publication:
Gainesville Fla
University of Florida Agricultural Experiment Station
Publication Date:
Copyright Date:
Physical Description:
6, 1 p. : ; 23 cm.


Subjects / Keywords:
Infants (Newborn) -- Nutrition ( lcsh )
Syrups ( lcsh )
Sugarcane ( lcsh )
City of Gainesville ( local )
government publication (state, provincial, terriorial, dependent) ( marcgt )
non-fiction ( marcgt )


General Note:
Cover title.
Statement of Responsibility:
by Ruth O. Townsend and O.D. Abbott with C.F. Ahmann.

Record Information

Source Institution:
University of Florida
Holding Location:
University of Florida
Rights Management:
All applicable rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier:
AEN5851 ( LTUF )
18231963 ( OCLC )
000925205 ( AlephBibNum )


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Bulletin 398 March, 1944






Single copies free to Florida residents upon request to

John J. Tigert, M.A., LL.D., Presidents H. P. Adair, Chairman, Jacksonville
H. Harold Hume, I.Sc., Provost for Agri. N. B. Jordan, Quincy
Harold Mowry, M.S.A., Director T. T. Scott, Live Oak
L. O. Gratz, Ph.D., Asst. Dir., Research Thos. W. Bryant, Lakeland
W. M. Fifield, M.S., Asst. Dir., Admin.' M. L. Mershon, Miami
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Ida Keeling Cresap, Librarian NORTH FLORIDA STATION, QUINCY
Ruby Newhall, Administrative Manager J. D. Warner, M.S., Vice-Director-in-Charge
K. H. Graham, LL.D., Business Manager3 R. R. Kincaid, Ph.D., Plant Path.
Claranelle Alderman. Accountant3 V. E. Whitehurst, Jr., B.S.A. Asst. An.
MAIN STATION, GAINESVILLE W. C. McCormick, B.S.A., Asst. An. Hush.
Jesse Reeves, Asst. Agron., Tobacco
AGRONOMY W. H. Chapman, M.S., Asst. Agron.'
W. E. Stokes, M.S., Agronomist1 R. C. Boyd, M.S.A., Asst. Agronomist
Fred H. Hull, Ph.D., Agronomist Mobile Unit, Monticello
G. B. Killinger, Ph.D., Agronomist R. W. Wallace, B.S., Associate Agronomist
G. E. Ritchey, M.S., Agronomist'
W. A. Carver, Ph.D., Associate Mobile Unit, Milton
Roy E. Blaser, M.S., Associate Ralph L. Smith, M.S., Associate Agronomist
R. W. Bledsoe, Ph.D., Asso. Agronomist CITRUS STATION, LAKE ALFRED
H. C. Harris, Ph.D., Asso. Agronomist A. F. Camp, Ph.D., Vice-Director-in-Charge
Fred A. Clark, B.S.A., Assistant V. C. Jamison, Ph.D., Soils Chemist
B. R. Fudge, Ph.D., Associate Chemist
ANIMAL INDUSTRY W. L. Thompson, B.S., Entomologist
A. L. Shealy, D.V.M., An. Industrialist1 W. Lawless, B.S., Asst. Horticulturist'
R. B. Becke, Ph.D., Dairy Husbandman' R. K. Voorhees, Ph.D., Asso. Plant Path.
E. L. Fouts, Ph.D., Dairy Technologist' C. R. Stearns, Jr., B.S.A., Chemist
D. A. Sanders, D.V.M., Veterinarian H. 0. Sterling, B.S., Asst. Hort.
M. W. Emmel, D.V.M., Veterinarians T. W. Young, Ph.D., Asso. Hort., Coastal
L. E. Swanson, D.V.M., Parasitologist' J. W. Sites, M.S.A., Asso. Hort.
N. R. Mehrhof, M.Agr., Poultry Husb.' EVERGL ADES STA., BELLE GLADE
G. K. Davis, Ph.D., Animal Nutritionist NeVERGLADES TA Director-in-C BELLE GLADE
T. R. Freeman, Ph.D., Asso. in Dairy Mfg. J- R Neller, .D., Ve-Diretor-n-Charge
R. S. Glasscock, Ph.D., Asso. An. Husb. J W. Wilson, Sc.D., Entomologist *
C. L. Comar, Ph.D., Asso. Biochemist F. D. Stevens, B.S., Sugarcane Agron.
D. J. Smith, B.S.A., Asst. An. Husb.4 Thomas Bregger, Ph.D., Sugarcane
P. T. Dix Arnold. M.S.A., Asst. Dairy Husb.' Physiologist
L. E. Mull, M.S., Asst. in Dairy Tech. G. R. Townsend, Ph.D., Plant Pathologist
0. K. Moore, M.S., Asst. Poultry Husb.3 R. W. Kidder, M.S.. Asst. An. Husb.
J. E. Pace, B.S., Asst. An. Husb.' W. T. Forsee, Jr., Ph.D., Aso. Chemist
S. P. Marshall, M.S., Asst. in An. Nutr. B. S. Clayton, B.S.C.E. Drainage Eng.'
C. B. Reeves, B.S., Asst. Dairy Tech. F. S. Andrews, Ph.D., Asso. Truck Hort.'
Dorothy Nodine, B.S., Asst. Biochemist Roy A. air, Ph.D., Asst. Agron.
E. C. Minnuma, M.S., Asst. Truck Hort.
ECONOMICS, AGRICULTURAL N. C. Hayslip, B.S.A., Ast. Entomologist
C. V. Noble, Ph.D., Agr. Economist1' SUB-TROPICAL STA., HOMESTEAD
Zach Savage, M.S.A., Associate G. D. Ruehle, Ph.D., Vice-Director-in-Charge
A. H. Spurlock, M.S.A., Associate S. J. Lynch, B.S.A., Asst. Horticulturist
Max E. Brunk, M.S., Assistant P. J. Westgate, Ph.D., Asso. Horticulturist
Ouida D. Abbott, Ph.D., Home Econ.1 C. 1D. Gordon, Ph.D., Associate Poultry
Ruth O. Townsend, R.N., Assistant Geneticist in Charges
R. B. French, Ph.D., Biochemist
J. R. Watson, A.M., Entomologist W. G. Kirk, Ph.D., Vice-Director-in-Charge
A. N. Tissot, Ph.D., Associates E. M. Hodges, Ph.D., Asso. Agron., Wauchula
H. E. Bratley, M.S.A., Assistant Gilbert A. Tucker, B.S.A., Asst. An. Hush.'
G. H. Blackmon, M.S.A., Horticulturist' FIELD STATIONS
A. L. Stahl, Ph.D., Associate Leesburg
F. S. Jamison, Ph.D., Truck Hort. M. N. Walker, Ph.D., Plant Path. in Charge'
Byron E. Janes, Ph.D., Asso. Hort. Plant City
R. J. Wilmot, M.S.A., Asst. Hort. A. N. Brooks, Ph.D., Plant Pathologist
R. D. Dickey, M.S.A., Asst. Hort.' H ti
J. Carlton Cain, B.S.A., Asst. Hort.' Hastings
Victor F. Nettles, M.S.A., Asst. Hort.' A. H. Eddins, Ph.D., Plant Pathologst
F. S. Lagasse, Ph.D., Asso. Hort. E. N. McCubbin, Ph.D., Truck Hort.
H. M. Sell, Ph.D., Asso. Hort.2 Monticello
PLANT PATHOLOGY S. O. Hill, B.S., Entomologists '
W. B. Tisdale, Ph.D., Plant Pathologist lis B t omologists
Phares Decker, Ph.D., Asso. Plant Path. Bradenton
Erdman West, M.S., Mycologist J. R. Beckenbach, Ph.D., Hort. in Charge
Lillian E. Arnold, M.S., Asst. Botanist E. G. Kelsheimer, Ph.D., Entomologist
SOILS F. T. McLean, Ph.D., Horticulturist
B. V. Allison, Ph.D., Cheist A. L. Harrison, Ph.D., Plant Path.
Gaylordllison, MPh.D. Chemist E. L. Spencer, Ph.D., Soils Chemist
F. B. Smith, Ph.D., Microbiologist' David G. Kelbert, Asst. Plant Pathologist
C. E. Bell, Ph.D., Associate Chemist Sanford
L. E. Ensminger, Ph.D., Asso. Soils Chemist R. W. Ruprecht, Ph.D., Chemist in Charge
J. R. Henderson, M.S.A., Soil Technologist J. C. Russell, M.S., Asst. Entomologist
L. H. Rogers, Ph.D., Asso. Biochemist Lakeland
R. A. Carrigan, B.S., Asso. Biochemist' E. S. Ellison, Meteorologist2 a
G. T. Sims, M.S.A., Asso. Chemist Warren O. Johnson, Meteorologist'
J. N. Howard, B.S., Asst. Chemist
P. C. Erwin, Assistant Chemist Head of Department.
H. W. Winsor, B.S.A., Assistant Chemist In cooperation with U. S.
Geo. D. Thornton, M.S., Asst. Microbiologists 'Cooperative, other divisions, U. of F.
R. E. Caldwell, M.S.A., Asst. Soil Surveyor In Military Service.
Olaf C. Olson, BS., Asst. Soil Surveyor 5 On leave.



The literature contains many opinions on the advantages and
disadvantages of the several sugars used in infant feeding.
Some pediatricians recommend that cow's milk, which is lower
in sugar than human milk, be supplemented with lactose, since
this is the sugar found in milk. Others suggest mixed sugars
prepared by the action of malt diastase on starch, or a syrup
prepared by the action of a mineral acid on corn starch. All of
these sugars are readily digested and assimilated, do not have
marked laxative effects and are not excessively sweet. They
have a more or less uniform caloric value and are interchange-
able in the artificial feeding of most infants.
Refined sugars and syrups are low in ash, while unrefined
sugar products, of which cane syrup is an example, are relatively
high. Unrefined syrups often contain good percentages of iron.
If cane syrup is well tolerated by infants being fed cow's milk,
and the iron is available in sufficient quantity, it will be a valu-
able dietary adjunct. Not only will it furnish supplementary
sugar, but in addition it will prevent an iron deficiency anemia.
Moreover, many rural families in the South grow sugar cane and
make syrup. For these it will be economical to use homemade
syrup in infant feeding.
This report deals with the results of feeding 12 babies with
evaporated milk supplemented with Florida cane syrup.

Subjects.-The subjects were 12 babies from families unable
to provide medical care for either mother or baby. In most
cases the physician saw the mother only at the time of delivery.
Two of the mothers had toxemia of pregnancy, 1 had arrested
tuberculosis, and all were malnourished and anemic. The hemo-
globin values of these women varied from 5.6 to 11.2 grams, with
an average of 8.7 grams.
1Consulting physician.

4 Florida Agricultural Experiment Station

Diets.-During the first week after birth all the mothers at-
tempted to nurse their babies. When it became evident that
there was insufficient lactation or that the milk was causing
intestinal disturbances, the babies were fed according to the
following formula:
51/3 ozs. unsweetened evaporated milk (1 small can)
2 ozs. cane syrup
14 ozs. boiled water

The increased food demands of the child were met by grad-
ually increasing the proportion of milk in the formula. For
instance, at the beginning of the third month, the ratio of milk
to water was 2 to 3; and at the sixth month is was 1 to 1.
In a few cases the syrup was, at first, too laxative. When this
occurred the quantity was decreased. Since the effect was tem-
porary, in a few days the full quota was used. At the beginning
of the second month 1/ ounce of orange juice and teaspoonful
of codliver oil were given daily. These supplements were in-
creased gradually and at the end of the third month the daily
intake was 2 ounces of orange juice and 1 teaspoonful of cod-
liver oil. No further increases were made in these supplements.
Feeding Schedule.-The beginning feeding schedule and treat-
ment were based on the individual needs and requirements of
the babies. Babies markedly underweight, those with digestive
disturbances or excessive regurgitation, or those taking too little
food were put on a 3-hour schedule, 7 feedings of 2 to 21/2
ounces; all others were on a 4-hour schedule, 5 to 6 feedings
of 21/2 to 3 ounces. As the baby became older the quantity of
food was increased and at 6 months 5 to 7 ounces were taken at
each feeding.
Care of the Babies.-The babies were kept in their respective
homes and cared for by their mothers. During the first 2 months
the senior author made home visits every 2 weeks; thereafter,
monthly. Once each month, and oftener if necessary, the babies
were taken to the physician's office for examination.

The results of feeding evaporated milk supplemented with
cane syrup on weight and hemoglobin values of 12 babies are
given in Table 1. The data show that when the subjects were
fed until they were 6 months old according to the formula they

Cane Syrup in Infant Feeding 5

were all within the normal range in regard to weight and hemo-
globin. There were no symptoms of malnutrition or digestive
disturbances- all were apparently sound and healthy.
At the conclusion of the experiment the formula and feeding
directions were given to several home supervisors of the Farm
Security Administration. These women supervised the feeding
of 10 babies belonging in rural families. A report of this feed-
ing showed that the subjects appeared healthy and well nour-
ished. These results substantiate the above findings the syrup
was easily digested and well tolerated; no adverse reactions
were noted.
The usual procedure in conducting feeding tests is to select
healthy subjects of approximately the same age and weight.
It will be noted in this experiment that in addition to variations
in birth weight, there were also variations in both age and weight
when the feeding tests began. Moreover, few of the subjects
were considered healthy; 1 was marasmic, 4 were emaciated,
while the remaining ones, though not actually emaciated, were
making subnormal gains. Other symptoms of malnutrition were
excessive crying, elevated temperatures, dehydration, abnormal
regurgitation and other digestive disturbances.
Because of insufficient lactation 4 babies began the feeding
regimen during the first week after birth while the others were
nursed until it was obvious that the mother's milk was causing
digestive disturbances or subnormal weight gains.
In addition to these abnormalities there was a possibility of
an early iron deficiency. All the babies were born of anemic
mothers. According to Kracke and Garver (1) 2 a baby is sel-
dom anemic at birth, but an iron deficiency in the mother results
in an inadequate storage of iron in the foetal liver. This would
make the child susceptible to anemia at an early age. Mackay
(2) found that the excess iron stored in the liver, before and
soon after birth, was depleted about the fourth month. With
low storage, however, depletion would come sooner. But when-
ever it occurs the baby is then entirely dependent upon diet to
satisfy his iron requirements.
In this experiment cow's milk was the principal item of diet.
While human and cow's milk are both low in iron, it has been
observed often that less iron is retained by babies fed cow's
milk than by those fed human milk (4). This is another factor
that would tend to reduce available iron.
See "Literature Cited."

6 Florida Agricultural Experiment Station

Moreover, several babies were of low birth-weight and all were
more or less malnourished when the feeding tests began. The
milk from the mothers had been inadequate in either quality
or quantity or in both and digestive disturbances were common.
These inter-acting and inter-related factors would retard growth,
decrease food intake and thus increase the chances for de-
Of late it has been recognized that unless iron-carrying foods
or iron salts are given most babies develop some degree of anemia
about the fourth month. This anemic condition is so common
that it is generally recommended that babies be given iron in
some form at an early age. Stearns and McKinley (4) are of
the opinion that all babies should have iron well before the sixth
month. Parsons and Smallwood (3) suggest a daily does of 1
grain of ferrum redactum made into a tablet with sugar as an
adequate prophylactic against nutritional anemia in the milk-fed
In this study the iron supplement was obtained from cane
The data show that when the babies were 6 months old the
hemoglobin values were all in the normal range, half of them
being in the upper part of the range. These values in babies
prone to anemia were interpreted as a demonstration of the anti-
anemic value of cane syrup in infant feeding.

The results of this study show that when cane syrup was used
as the supplementing sugar for cow's milk the babies were
healthy and the hemoglobin values were maintained at a high
level. This indicates that cane syrup provided a safe and effec-
tive dietary source of iron for babies.

1. KRACKE, ROY R., and HORTENSE E. GARVER. Diseases of the blood and
atlas of hematology, Pp. 271-272. J. B. Lippincott Co. 1937.
2. MACKAY, HELEN M. M. Factors causing variation in the hemoglobin
level with age in the first year of life. Arch. Dis. Child. 7-8: 251-
264. 1932-33.
3. PARSONs, LEONARD G., and W. CAREY SMALLWOOD. The anemias of in-
fancy and childhood. Practitioner, 134: 298-316. 1935.
4. STEARNS, GENEVIEVE, and J. B. McKINLEY. The conservation of blood
iron during the period of physiological hemoglobin destruction in
early infancy. Jour. Nutr. 13: 143-156. 1937.


Subject Sex Birth 1 wk. 2 wks. 4 wks. 8 wks. 12 wks. 16 wks. 120 wks. 24 wks. Hemoglobin Condition at
Number ___ _____I 24 wks. Beginning of Feeding Tests

lbs.-ozs. lbs.-ozs. Ibs.-ozs. lbs.-ozs.llbs.-ozs. Ibs.-ozs. bs.-ozs. gms/100 cc
1 Male 10-0 10-0* 10-2 10-8 11-4 112-15 114-0 15-8 17-7 14.56 Mother's milk insufficient
2 Female 6-4 6-0 6-0* 7-4 8-0 8-12 10-0 11 1 13-0 15.04 Mother's milk insufficient
3 Female 6-0 6-0 6-0 6 6* 6-10 7-2 9-0 10-3 11-4 13.76 Emaciated, poorly nourished
4 Female 5-3 5-0 4-11* 6-0 7-9 8-11 10 4 12-0 13-3 15.36 Mother's milk insufficient
5 Male 7-14 7 12* 7-12 9-8 10-8 12 0 14-12 15-8 17-8 14.72 Mother's milk insufficient
6 Female 5-8 5-8 5-9 6-0* 6-4 8-15 10-2 11-8 13-6 14.72 Mother's milk insufficient.
Pyloric stenosis, emaciated.
7 Male 7-6 7-6 7-4* 10-0 12-4 14 8 17 0 19-4 20-4 15.36 Mother's milk insufficient
8 Female 4-8 4-8 4-6 4-6 4-6* 5-15 7-0 9-2 12-8 14.24 Marasmic, dehydrated, intes-
tinal disturbance, temper-
ture 102' F.
9 Male 7-4 7-2* 7-11 9-1 10-3 11 8 12 4 14-0 14-15 14.40 Mother's milk insufficient

10 Male 7-1 7-0 5-6 5-1* 6-0 6-15 7-12 9-4 11-12 13.60 Stools frequent, watery,
emaciated, cried excessive-
ly, temperature 101" F.
11 Female 6-3 6-5 6 8* 7-8 9-5 10-12 12 4 14-2 15-12 14.08 Intestinal distress, cried ex-
12 Female 6-0 6 6* 7-2 7-12 8-4 9 -15 11 0 12-1 14-0 16.00 Umbilical hernia at 1 month,
Smother's milk insufficient
Age at which experimental feeding began